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Body vs suspension lifts


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Well a body lift will "lift the body" where a suspension lift kind of dose two things. It can allow you to gain ground clearance and how far your truck can flex. Suspension is good if your looking for ground clearance. A body lift is good but it separates the body from the frame and can lead to needing different parts to make it so you can shift or stop and sometimes it can even screw up how your truck rides. This is a good place to get a lift http://www.jcwhitney.com/lift-kits/nissan-pathfinder/c11313d1685j1s21.jcwx. Hope this helps.

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A suspension lift is super easy on our trucks, you look for the "how to re-index your tension rods" in the how-to section here on the forum, and swap the rear springs for the front ones of Jeep Grand Cherokee (check that one in the garage section). and in about 2 hours you have a 3"suspension lift. Body is just swap the body pucks with taller ones and their new bolts..... and none of this is easy if you live in the rust belt states.... because of the rust.

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Just my opinion, but I prefer a suspension lift over a body lift if you're only going to do one.

The BL is an easier option since it is just swapping out the body mount pucks, but it is a bit stressy when you lift one side of your truck body off the frame to install it. Always a has a certain pucker factor for me. Your center of gravity will be a bit higher, but your suspension geometry will be unchanged, so that's a plus.The toughest part is lengthening your steering shaft which is likely rusted together. Repositioning the bumpers is not a big deal. The biggest downside to me is the gap in the wheel wells. Also, think about spray painting the frame when you're done. You'll see a lot of it.

A suspension lift is a bit more involved if done correctly. Many folks have done the torsion bar crank and that's ok, but I would opt for replacement upper A-arms. They will put your ball joints at a more suitable angle for them to work/last better (plus they're tubes, cool!). If you can find them cheaper, the Hardbody A-arms are the same as the Pathfinder ones. You still achieve the lift by cranking the T-bars, though. You won't gain anymore articulation or "flex", it will just start at a different point. And the Grand Cherokee springs work really well especially if you have an external tire carrier hanging off the back. Once you finish the lift you will need an alignment. Good luck with that. I took mine to three places and none could get it right so I did my own. Hopefully you have an easier time. Your rear axle will also be a few inches off center unless you buy/fab a panhard bar drop bracket. Not a big deal but it bugged me with mine until I corrected it.

Good luck with whichever you plan to do. There's gobs of very good info here. I couldn't have tackled any of the things I've done without this NPORA crew, whether for straight how-to or inspiration.

I wanted to fit 33" tires, so I have a 3" BL and a SL on mine, somewhere around 5" or 6" total.

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I did both on my rig. I did the suspension lift first. It was approx 2" lift. I had some wheel issues and put some aftermarket wheels on. The offset was different and the wheel stuck out more. With the 31" tires on the aftermarket wheels it would rub when turning. So I was forced, if you will, to put a body lift on. It was a 2" body lift.

 

Honestly I like the look of 2" suspension and 2" body lift. It also gives a little space between the nerf bar and the body.

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I forgot something.

 

Ground clearance is relative. Yes you will gain some clearance. The differentials will still be low. The transfer case will still be low. Unless you are looking for a hard core trail rig, it is mostly for looks. IMHO

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Good summaries here, but one thing that I didn't see mentioned is one of the positives of a body lift; you have more clearance/room to access some things like the starter and bell housing bolts, the exhaust isn't as likely to burn through the driver floor board (yes, more common than you want to believe), and other such things. That wouldn't be reason enough alone to install a body lift, but it can be quite handy.

 

I agree with RF600, I prefer a 2" suspension and 2" body lift with 31" tires myself. My Pathfinder is set up more for expedition type travel and daily driving though, not a hard core trail rig...

 

B

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Thanks for the info. Well honestly I've thought about it and like you said it's all for the look. Precious1 your right I've had the drivers and passengers floor boards heat up on me once when I ran her really hard. Guys one thing I just thought about when you do a body lift do you need longer shocks?

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Nope, your only lifting the body and the shocks bolt to the frame.

 

I have both body and suspension lifts(3+3+33's) and both have their advantages and disadvantages. The only real negative of a body lift is, to me, the extra work that is needed to fit a winch style bumper(if you can find one) and sliders down the sides. Now there are no "bolt on" sliders so cutting and welding are going to be needed anyway. The front bumper has to be modified to sit at the right height which is not a huge deal, but if you are not a welder/fabricator, it can seem like a lot of work.

 

I chose a A/C suspension lift "kit" when I put mine on(seems like forever ago now). It's performed great. I just recently had to replace my upper control arm bushings, but they've been in there for over 100,000 miles, so normal wear and tear if you ask me. Not too long ago I also opted for lower profile bumpstops in the front as the factory ones kept rubbing off when wheeling. It did take some fine adjustment on height in the front to find the sweet spot so I wasn't tearing up c/v boots all the time.

 

That's my two cents...

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I have the same lift 5523 pathfinder has. I've had it since 2010 and the only issue I've had was the control arm bushings kept wearing out prematurely. But that was either due to me installing them wrong, and the fact I live in the rust belt. Honestly the truck doesn't really drive all that much worse than stock other than a little more body roll. Comfort wise I think it's pretty much the same as a stock pathfinder. It doesn't ride that rough at all. I had to fiddle with the front end to get it aligned properly but there are always issues when modding vehicles.

 

The frame gaps do look bad, but that's what gap guards are for.

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Go on amazon and get Rancho, there about 50 each and free shipping. I'll get you part numbers for the 3 inch longer tonight when I get home. I also have a full set of KYB that have about 6k mi. On them that u just took off mine if you just need something.

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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After all of the Pathfinders that I have gone through, I would most certainly start with a 3" body lift, removing the rear sway bar and using longer rear shocks. From there it's a rear locker and then SAS. A body lift is pretty straight forward, allows for bigger tires, easier access to the starter (as stated by B), space to remove broken exhaust studs (ugh!), better access to the transmission bolts, exhaust clearance, no adverse effects of stiffening or changing the suspension geometry. BL is a little easier with an automatic trans, but not terrible with a manual. 3" is not any more work than 2". I was always a big fan of the SL, but the suspension on the WD21 is about as good as it can get from the factory.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How much of a rear suspension lift can the stock shock absorbers handle?

 

I've got the electronic adjustable suspension, and I have some jeep springs that should give me about 1.5 to 2 inches, and I'm wondering if I'll blow out the shocks with them running that much higher.

Edited by guycar778
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When doing the body lift, make sure to remove the upper radiator hose, where the upper hose connects to the radiator, it could crack.

 

You may also have to rotate it some so the angle doesn't stress the plastic.

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